05/30/2014, 00.00
VATICAN - SYRIA
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Pope warns against the 'globalisation of indifference" vis-à-vis the suffering of Syrians

Francis calls on international institutions, public opinion and parties to the conflict to look at the "common good," and allow "humanitarian assistance". He pleads for an end to the fighting, and for the parties "to negotiate". He also stresses that "Christianity must be able to continue to live where it has its origins."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis issued another appeal against "the globalisation of indifference," which is growing amid the "daily victims" and "untold suffering" of the Syrian people.

In his message, the Holy Father calls on international institutions, public opinion and parties to the conflict to look at the "common good," and allow "humanitarian assistance". Pleading for an end to fighting, he calls on the parties "to negotiate and give priority to Syria's greater good, that of its people, including those who have had to seek refuge elsewhere, and have a right to return to their homeland as soon as possible."

The pope made his latest plea in a message to the Pontifical Council Cor unum, which hosted a coordination meeting of Catholic organisations involved in the Syrian civil war.

In it, Francis, whose "eyes and heart" are still in the "Middle East, after the recent pilgrimage in the Holy Land," remembers that "a year ago we gathered to reaffirm the commitment of the Church in this crisis and jointly launch an appeal for peace in Syria. Now we meet again to assess the work done so far and renew our determination to continue on this path, working together even more closely."

However, "it is with great sorrow that we see that the Syrian crisis has not been resolved, that it continues, and that there is a risk of getting used to it, of forgetting its daily victims, its untold sufferings, the thousands of refugees, including the elderly and children who suffer and sometimes die from hunger and disease caused by the war. Such indifference hurts! Once more, we must call the evil that is hurting so much today by its name: the globalisation of indifference."

"The peace-oriented activities and humanitarian work that Catholic charities carry out in this context are a faithful expression of God's love for his children who find themselves in situations of oppression and anguish. God hears their cry, knows their sufferings and wants to free them.

"Lend your hands and your abilities to Him. It is important that you work in communion with local pastors and communities.

"This meeting is a good opportunity to find appropriate ways of stable cooperation, with various actors talking to each other, so as to organise better your efforts to support local Churches and all the victims of war, without distinction of ethnicity, religion or social group.

"We are all aware that the future of humanity is built on peace, not war," he said. "War destroys, kills, and impoverishes peoples and countries."

"My thoughts go in particular to the dear Christian communities, who are the face of a Church that suffers and hopes. Their survival across the Middle East is of profound concern to the universal Church. Christianity must be able to continue to live where it has its origins."

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